The 44th Annual Tacoma Executives Association Golf Tournament began by stuffing the goody bags for players and arranging the golf carts in order for play. This year the goody bags were travel bags donated by Smith Fire Systems.
Each goody bag contained a bottle of water and snacks supplied by Bob Larson Plumbing, PublicDoman, Great Promotions, and Jones Animal Hospital. In addition there were links to free decorating ebooks from City Glass & Upholstery, a goal setting video from PublicDoman, and magazines with money-saving coupons for Federal Way and Gig Harbor from Your Local Shopper.
Volunteers like Terri Mandel of Tacoma Rubber Stamp & Signs, and Bernie Plancich of Dr. Gregory Plancich, D.D.S. created signs and banners, ran hole sponsors out to their particular hole, and arranged materials and did whatever needed to be done to welcome guests and sponsors to the event.
The volunteers did such a great job with all their work, but their efforts to secure a fantastic afternoon in Tacoma paid off in dividends. The day started off a little wet and cloudy, but by the time people began arriving it was blue sky sailing.
The volunteers and the Association Management staff also set up the prizes for display. We had a WSU Cougar Basket, UW Husky Basket, baskets for the Sounders and Rainiers, as well as special wine, golfing equipment, and AV baskets. The most covetied was the garden basket which included a very nice wheelbarrow, expanding water hoses, seeds, watering cans, and other gardening equipment. Particpants were able to choose what prizes they wanted to compete for by placing their raffle tickets in a container for each prize as they saw fit.
Some people had to walk up and down the prize filled tables several times . . . or ended up buying additional raffle tickets.
Lunch was included with the golfing fee (as was dinner). Excellent hot dogs sticking out from either end of their buns. They were grilled nicely. Adding mustard, relish, and sauerkraut added to the taste. Washing the hot dogs and potato chips down was a fantastic, sparkling tea steeped with huge mint leaves. I hate to golf on a full stomach, otherwise I probably would have had a second hot dog and several more glasses of the tea. Lunch was provided by Smoke + Cedar, the restaurant at the Allenmore Golf Course. Smoke + Cedar is managed by Pacific Grill, one of Tacoma's finest restaurants.
As the time for the shotgun start neared, Chairman Don Gustafson of Gustafson's Fine Flooring gathered the players around him and began explaining the rules of the tournament.
Players were a little shocked that there were to be no "Mulligans," but seemed happy with other innovations like a rotating "poison ball." The translucent pink ball had to be played through each hole by one player and then passed along to another player for the next hole. Those teams who finished with the round with the "poison ball" still in their posession were in the running for a special prize. Only eight teams finished without losing the little pink ball. Our team finished with the ball, but lost the drawing.
Many of the holes offered some special event. Hole #1 was sponsored by the Neil Walter Company. We were greeted with leis and tropical punch in this Hawaiian themed hole.
Other holes offered free golf balls, special pricing on golf clubs, introductions to different business services and on one hole you could even pay a fantastic "ringer" to step up to the tee and blast your ball down the fairway. Wow, he blasted a ball straight down hole #5.
From Comcast Business we all scored a USB connector the plugs into a automobile cigarette lighter as well as a keychain flashlight. I love marketing items like these that I can use.
Our team consisted of my son Patrick from American Fast Freight in Puyallup, friend Mike Jones of Jones Animal Hospital, and Joey Velez of Velez Financial. Mike, Joey, and I are all Rotarians. Mike and I are also members of Tacoma Execs.
As part of the entertainment and fun on Hole #1, each player had to participate with a Hula Hoop before starting play. Except for the fact that there was no nearby surf, temperatures were in the high sixties, and their was no tropical breeze there was a diffinite South Pacific laid back feeling. We started out the course with smiles on our faces . . . until we hit our first golf balls, of course. Patrick's drive left us an easy chip to the green.
Hole #12 was sponsored by ABC Physical Therapy. Last year they provided free massages while you waited to play. I was so looking forward to this, again, but it was not to be. Instead ABC had an obstacle course. Standing on a balancing disc and using a swimming noodle, players needed to drive a ball (three chances) into a U-shaped neck cushion to complete the hole.
I actually like this hole and in previous tournaments some teammates got down on all-fours and used the noodle like a pool cue to finess the golf ball through, around, and over different models of hips and spines to finish.
We played the entire eighteen holes with no one on our tail. We moved right a long and never saw anyone coming up behind us. We finished the final hole, sponsored by C.I. Shenanigans, one of my favorite Tacoma waterfront restaurants by driving mashmallows off our tees. Although I drove mine a good fifty feet, the long marshmallow drive at least sixty feet.
We returned to the pavillion and waited for dinner to be served. I had called Peggy as we started play on the 17th hole. She joined us for dinner along with Scott Larsen of Great-Promotions, and Bob Larson of Bob Larson Plumbing. Last year Patrick had to rush off to a baseball game where grandson Riley was playing, but this time we got to relax, talk and enjoy the company.
We had an excellent dinner of steak, salmon, grilled asparagus, and roasted potatoes. There was no "foil" to take home any leftover, so I had to eat a portion of Peggy's salmon. The things I do for family and community just amaze me.
Peggy won one of the major raffle prizes. Patrick was in the running for the putting contest. He was one of only three players who had sank a long putt to qualify. He lost in the final drawing. Mike lost a drawing for his chipping on hole #11. Joe and I were in the running for nothing, but our group finished just one over par. This left us out of the contention for both the best scores and the worst scores, but we such a nice time it didn't matter. Just wait until next year!